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Discussion of Genesis
10-05-2017, 03:20 PM
Post: #11
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-05-2017 02:52 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  
(10-05-2017 01:38 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  
(10-05-2017 12:28 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  So would singular heaven without capitalization? The definite article would be considered the opposite of a noun in English if I have it right, then with John Doe meaning some unknown person, the sentence I saw a squirrel being chased by a john doe. Would john doe or John Doe be correct with john doe being a definite article. I'm trying to be sure I understand the definite article correctly. thanks.

In English, "the" is a definite article. It's "definite" because it marks the following noun as a specific, though unnamed thing.

An indefinite article like "a" or "an," on the other hand, signifies one of a group of things.

Hebrew doesn't have an indefinite article, so nouns have either a definite article or no article.

In your squirrel sentence, both nouns have an indefinite article. Let's change the sentence a little, thus: "John Doe is chasing the squirrel." Squirrel is marked by a definite article, so it means a specific, but unnamed squirrel.

Removing the definite object gives "John Doe is chasing squirrel." My understanding (though I've been wrong about several Hebrew things, lately) is that because Hebrew has no indefinite article, it could either mean "John Doe is chasing (a) squirrel" or "John Doe is chasing (something named) Squirrel."

Very interesting thanks! According to what you say here, and with the complex Hebrew, it could take a long time with a lot of study (to use Yefet's wording on this) before a person would detect the full meaning of a sentence unless they were above average sharp. And that because of the complexity of the Hebrew language. This is all good to know. So if the sentence was in English, Jane saw John chasing squirrels, the way it would be worded in Hebrew it could mean Jane saw John chasing a squirrel or it could mean she saw him chasing squirrels? or is it worded so the definite article would be a, thus denoting singular or plural?

Singular or plural is not the issue here. It just so happens that the word translated as 'heavens' is always plural, as in Difflugia's earlier example of 'pants'. The ambiguity is between an indefinite noun and a proper noun. Neither one takes an article in Hebrew. A definite noun does take a definite article.

As in Difflugia's example, the Hebrew for 'chasing a squirrel' and 'chasing Squirrel', where 'Squirrel' is a name, would be the same. 'Chasing the squirrel' when some specific squirrel is intended would use the definite article in Hebrew just as in English. In Hebrew, 'chasing squirrels' (plural) would be different from 'chasing a squirrel' because 'squirrels' would have a plural ending. As mentioned above 'heavens' is always plural in Hebrew, just like 'pants' in English.

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
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Dylan
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10-06-2017, 01:02 AM
Post: #12
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-05-2017 03:20 PM)Imprecise Interrupt Wrote:  
(10-05-2017 02:52 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  
(10-05-2017 01:38 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  
(10-05-2017 12:28 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  So would singular heaven without capitalization? The definite article would be considered the opposite of a noun in English if I have it right, then with John Doe meaning some unknown person, the sentence I saw a squirrel being chased by a john doe. Would john doe or John Doe be correct with john doe being a definite article. I'm trying to be sure I understand the definite article correctly. thanks.

In English, "the" is a definite article. It's "definite" because it marks the following noun as a specific, though unnamed thing.

An indefinite article like "a" or "an," on the other hand, signifies one of a group of things.

Hebrew doesn't have an indefinite article, so nouns have either a definite article or no article.

In your squirrel sentence, both nouns have an indefinite article. Let's change the sentence a little, thus: "John Doe is chasing the squirrel." Squirrel is marked by a definite article, so it means a specific, but unnamed squirrel.

Removing the definite object gives "John Doe is chasing squirrel." My understanding (though I've been wrong about several Hebrew things, lately) is that because Hebrew has no indefinite article, it could either mean "John Doe is chasing (a) squirrel" or "John Doe is chasing (something named) Squirrel."

Very interesting thanks! According to what you say here, and with the complex Hebrew, it could take a long time with a lot of study (to use Yefet's wording on this) before a person would detect the full meaning of a sentence unless they were above average sharp. And that because of the complexity of the Hebrew language. This is all good to know. So if the sentence was in English, Jane saw John chasing squirrels, the way it would be worded in Hebrew it could mean Jane saw John chasing a squirrel or it could mean she saw him chasing squirrels? or is it worded so the definite article would be a, thus denoting singular or plural?

Singular or plural is not the issue here. It just so happens that the word translated as 'heavens' is always plural, as in Difflugia's earlier example of 'pants'. The ambiguity is between an indefinite noun and a proper noun. Neither one takes an article in Hebrew. A definite noun does take a definite article.

As in Difflugia's example, the Hebrew for 'chasing a squirrel' and 'chasing Squirrel', where 'Squirrel' is a name, would be the same. 'Chasing the squirrel' when some specific squirrel is intended would use the definite article in Hebrew just as in English. In Hebrew, 'chasing squirrels' (plural) would be different from 'chasing a squirrel' because 'squirrels' would have a plural ending. As mentioned above 'heavens' is always plural in Hebrew, just like 'pants' in English.

Ok, I think I gotcha on this. Appreciate it. Pants though a single pair yet listed as plural. Heavens, though speaking of the sky above is the same one singular though it is written plural.

In the beginning is the same in both translations, but after that they differ. of God's creation, while the other is God created. So is the word for creation and created different?
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10-20-2017, 01:57 PM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2017 02:18 PM by Jayhawker Soule.)
Post: #13
RE: Discussion of Genesis
A couple of points.

There is a difference between bareishit and b'reishit:
  • bareishit means "in the beginning" or "with the beginning" - this is not the vocalization found in the Masoretic Text.
  • b'reishit, on the other hand, is in the construct state and is best translated as something akin to "in the beginning of ..." This is the opening 'word' in the Torah.

So, for example, one gets:
  • When God began to create heaven and earth -- the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind fro God sweeping over the water -- God said ... [from the JPS: Genesis]
  • At the beginning of God's creating of the heavens and the earth, when the earth was wild and waste, darkness over the face of the Ocean, rushing spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters -- God said ... [from Everett Fox; The Five Books of Moses]
  • When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God's breath hovering over the waters, God said ... [from Robert Alter; The Five Books of Moses]

As for heaven vs heavens, Nahum Sarna suggests that it be read as a merism which, of course, renders the distinction irrelevant.
One final point about plurals: a rather good text (in my opinion) is Joel S. Burnett's A Reassessment of Biblical Elohim where Burnett refers to 'elohim as a example of a concretized abstract plural -- a case where an object is viewed as a complex of qualities. Other examples might be mayim (water) and (panim) face.
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10-25-2017, 12:57 AM
Post: #14
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-20-2017 01:57 PM)Jayhawker Soule Wrote:  A couple of points.

There is a difference between bareishit and b'reishit:
  • bareishit means "in the beginning" or "with the beginning" - this is not the vocalization found in the Masoretic Text.
  • b'reishit, on the other hand, is in the construct state and is best translated as something akin to "in the beginning of ..." This is the opening 'word' in the Torah.

So, for example, one gets:
  • When God began to create heaven and earth -- the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind fro God sweeping over the water -- God said ... [from the JPS: Genesis]
  • At the beginning of God's creating of the heavens and the earth, when the earth was wild and waste, darkness over the face of the Ocean, rushing spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters -- God said ... [from Everett Fox; The Five Books of Moses]
  • When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God's breath hovering over the waters, God said ... [from Robert Alter; The Five Books of Moses]

As for heaven vs heavens, Nahum Sarna suggests that it be read as a merism which, of course, renders the distinction irrelevant.
One final point about plurals: a rather good text (in my opinion) is Joel S. Burnett's A Reassessment of Biblical Elohim where Burnett refers to 'elohim as a example of a concretized abstract plural -- a case where an object is viewed as a complex of qualities. Other examples might be mayim (water) and (panim) face.

So are you saying that the same word could mean creation, or created depending on the rest of the sentence leading to the word?
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10-25-2017, 08:44 AM
Post: #15
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-25-2017 12:57 AM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  
(10-20-2017 01:57 PM)Jayhawker Soule Wrote:  A couple of points.

There is a difference between bareishit and b'reishit:
  • bareishit means "in the beginning" or "with the beginning" - this is not the vocalization found in the Masoretic Text.
  • b'reishit, on the other hand, is in the construct state and is best translated as something akin to "in the beginning of ..." This is the opening 'word' in the Torah.

So, for example, one gets:
  • When God began to create heaven and earth -- the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind fro God sweeping over the water -- God said ... [from the JPS: Genesis]
  • At the beginning of God's creating of the heavens and the earth, when the earth was wild and waste, darkness over the face of the Ocean, rushing spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters -- God said ... [from Everett Fox; The Five Books of Moses]
  • When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God's breath hovering over the waters, God said ... [from Robert Alter; The Five Books of Moses]

As for heaven vs heavens, Nahum Sarna suggests that it be read as a merism which, of course, renders the distinction irrelevant.
One final point about plurals: a rather good text (in my opinion) is Joel S. Burnett's A Reassessment of Biblical Elohim where Burnett refers to 'elohim as a example of a concretized abstract plural -- a case where an object is viewed as a complex of qualities. Other examples might be mayim (water) and (panim) face.

So are you saying that the same word could mean creation, or created depending on the rest of the sentence leading to the word?

No, I said nothing of the kind.
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12-23-2017, 05:52 AM
Post: #16
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-25-2017 12:57 AM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  So are you saying that the same word could mean creation, or created depending on the rest of the sentence leading to the word?

Hebrew, like Arabic and ancient Egyptian, is a language of aspect. It belongs to the Afroasiatic language family. Unlike English, which is a language of tense, verbs in the Afroasiatic languages do not show past or present tenses in their simplest forms. Instead, they show aspect, that is, they indicate whether the action described by the verb has been completed or not.

The verb phrases of all languages, of course, can express both tense and aspect, but one of these two features will be given priority. If the English speaker wants to supply information about aspect, an extra word we call a “helping verb” must be used. English verbs have the following simple forms, which I illustrate with the verb “run:”

Simple present: run or runs. “Julie runs this morning.”
Simple past: ran. “Julie ran yesterday morning.”
Infinitive: to run or running. “Julie thinks it is fun to run” or “Julie thinks running is fun.”
Participle: running. “Julie’s running partner wasn’t here today.”

Many English verbs, such as “create,” also have a past participle.

Past participle: created. “Lizards are created things of the natural world, but God is eternal.”

The past participle of “run,” which would be “ran,” is rarely used, but we see it in a few phrases such as “Bob is an also-ran. He’s not going anywhere in this election campaign.”

The two main aspects an English verb can show are the perfect, which means an action is completed or finished, and the imperfect, which means it’s still ongoing, or is habitual.

Perfect: has run, have run, had run. “Julie had run on Tuesday morning.”
Imperfect: is running, was running. “Julie was running this morning.”

For habitual action, English normally just uses the simple present, as in “Julie runs every morning.” Notice that for aspect, the English verb requires “help” from extra words. “Is” and “have” are the most common of them. They are placed immediately before the verb. For the habitual aspect, an adverb such as “always” can be used: “Julie always runs.” Or, as we saw a minute ago, an adjectival phrase such as “every morning” might appear in the sentence.

The classical Hebrew verb had seven basic forms, called “binyamin.” This breakdown of the verb forms is a very difficult topic, and since I do not know Hebrew, I won’t try to discuss it. But you can Google “Hebrew verb binyamin” to find out more. The following pdf link also has a discussion.

Lon T. Cherryholmes
“The Seven Binyamin”
https://tzion.org/devarim/The%20Seven%20Binyanim.pdf

One thing you’ll notice is the Hebrew passive voice has its own binyamin, while English just uses the past participle. Prefixes are attached to the verb to make some of the binyamin, such as the causative.

I hope this explanation was helpful. I’m sorry it’s not the best one; I’m not a linguist. But you are correct: The rest of the sentence leading up to the verb, or following after it, is important for determining the tense and aspect of the verb itself.
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01-09-2018, 06:05 AM
Post: #17
RE: Discussion of Genesis
In many languages heaven and heavens just means sky, heaven, or space and all. So, I think it is really heavens and Earth. As in our planet and everything else which includes planets and stars and heaven itself. But the general meaning still remains that everything was created by God despite the small translations problems. No language can be perfectly translated but only can give the same meaning.
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